Sound Teaching

Meditations Toward Christmas: Deuteronomy 18:15

Another passage worthy of our meditation during this Christmas season is Deuteronomy 18:15: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen”

A prophet, according to the Bible, is the one who speaks on behalf of God to his people. Moses was one of the great prophets of the Old Testament, and as his life approached to an end, he foretold of a greater prophet to come. The Bible does not leave us to guess as to who Moses was referring to because Apostle Peter in Acts 4:22 tells us that Moses was speaking of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is greater than Moses and all other prophets because he does not merely speak on behalf of God, but he himself is God. The author of Hebrews also emphasizes this truth and writes, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power,” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

Unlike the other prophets whose word had authority because God had sent them to speak, Christ speaks with his own authority. This why the other prophets had always to say, “Thus says the Lord…” while Christ says, “I say to you…” because he is the prophet per excellence.

Now this greater prophet came to us on Christmas day, and he called everyone to believe his word for salvation. The same call still stands today, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life,” (John 5:24).

Jesus Christ’s words show us that there is no middle ground. Believing the word of this prophet leads to life and rejecting it leads to death. May our celebration of the birth of this prophet also afford us time to reflect on which ground we stand.

“A little child, thou art our guest
That weary ones in thee may rest
Forlorn and lowly is thy birth
That we may rise to heav’n from earth” (Martin Luther)

Blessed Christmas!

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My Life as a Christian

A Midnight Call from a ‘Prophet’

The day was Wednesday, January 23 and the time was exactly 11:32PM when my cell phone buzzed on a lamp stand beside our bed disturbing my peaceful sleep. I don’t like night phone calls so reluctantly I picked the phone, my eyes still half-asleep.

“Hello…”

“Hello, I am a prophet and I have a special word for you from God,” came the voice from the other end.

The moment I heard about the phrase. ‘special message from God,’ I cut the line and was going back to my sleep when my wife woke up and asked what was happening. Sleepily and dismissively, I told her that it was one of those unimportant and misdirected calls.

Four minutes later while trying to retrieve my enjoyable sleep, my phone buzzed again, but this time it was a Short Message Service (SMS)all written in capital letters.

“NDINE PROPHET NDIMAFUNA NDIKUWUZENI ZOTIMUKAVUTIKANDIMUMIMBA NDIYENDIKATINDIKUPEMPHELENI.”

Literally meaning  “I AM A PROPHET I WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT YOU HAVE STOMACH PROBLEMS AND WANTED PRAY FOR YOU”

Again, I ignored the SMS and wet back to sleep. But it was not over. A few minutes later, my phone rang again.

“Hello, I am a prophet….”

“Please, you are disturbing my sleep. Leave me alone, please. I don’t believe in any special word from God apart from the Bible,” I cut the line angrily. I am not so sure whether it was  righteous anger but to my relief, the ‘prophet’ did not call again.

In the morning, I revisited the whole incident.

“Of course, sometimes I experience stomach problems but that night I was fine. Why didn’t  ‘the prophet’ wait until morning to call? How urgent was this ‘special word for me’? These and many other unanswered questions lingered in my mind.

Any way, that’s the story about the midnight call I received from ‘a prophet.’

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